Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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902 Reviews
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Red Ale

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

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Reviews: 902 | Ratings: 2,559
Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best by 11/22/2012.

Pours a redish orange color. With a tan head that leaves lacing throat the glass. Smells is of light citrus and malty charastics. I also get some caramel and cherries. Taste is very similar. Though this beer is 8% I don't get much alcohol taste from it. Mouthfeel is crisp and medium bodied.

Overall this is a well rounded solid option from Great Lakes. Have yet to be dissipointed in their beers.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

Missed out on this last year, so it's nice that we happened upon it at the Firk tonight. It pours a russet Halloween brown topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises rye bread, spicy caramel (...that's what I wrote...I hope it makes sense to someone else...), light booze, and red grapes. The taste goes in a slightly different direction, with notes of grapefruit, light caramel, heavy pine sap, and cedar. The body is a solid medium, with a rather light moderate carbonation and a thickly watery (or watery thick) feel. Overall, I gotta say I wasn't enthralled with this brew, but it's not all that horrible either. I like the disjointedness, but I can't see myself seeking it out very often in the future.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

A: Pours a crystal clear very dark reddish amber in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation rising slowly from the bottom of the glass and some heavy crimson highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy dark beige head that reduces to a few small to medium sized patches of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass.

S: Moderate aromas of sweet caramel malts with a moderate to strong aroma of citrus/orange zest and pine hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of sweet caramel malts with just a hint of toasted malts. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of citrus/orange zest, citrus/orange, and pine hops. There is a slightly stronger than moderate amount of bitterness which lingers for a short while.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly slick/oily in the finish.

O: I found this one to be really enjoyable - a very nice hoppy red/amber. Alcohol is relatively well hidden and it drinks much easier than the 8% ABV that it is.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to korguy123 for this one! Poured into the DFH snifter glass.

A: Pours a very deep ruby color with a one finger tan head. Nice lace sheeting down the side of the glass.

S: A really interesting mix, I get a strong strawberry aroma mixed with a heavy caramel smell. There is also a nice hop/citrus aroma in the middle, some tangerine maybe.

T: The caramel is much heavier on the taste than the smell. There is a nice hop kick in the middle that lingers into the finish. Also get hints of brown sugar.

M/D: Full bodied and no hint of the 8% whatsoever. Overall a really nice beer, very drinkable.

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Photo of billab914
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my perfect pint glass. Dark red in color with a thin off white head that laced nicely down the glass. Aroma has a lot of citrusness to it along with some sweetness. Taste is hoppy as well, some nice citrusness and nicely balanced with the sweetness and bitterness. Nice carbonation and mouthfeel as well. Another solid beer from Great Lakes that I would gladly drink again.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 10/22/10 notes. Had on tap at the Big Hunt in DC last night.

a - Pours a nice amber color with two inches of creamy white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of smells of caramel malts, citrus hops, fruity malts, and bready malts.

t - Tastes mostly of citrus hops and caramel malts again. Also a decent amount of alcohol in the taste and hints of fruit.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent enough red/strong ale, but nothing really stood out about it. I enjoyed the caramel malts and citrus hops, but would have liked more out of it. Would drink it again but wouldn't seek it out annd it wouldn't be my first choice.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby caramel hue with a nice sized off white vanilla beige head leaves full webbed lacing blotches around my glass. Aroma: Strong pine presence with a bready mild malt sweetness touches of caramel and nuts but more stand outish is the alcohol presence. Taste: A dominant piney hop flavor flows throughout this becoming a bit one dimensional at times and overbearing on the palate seems very concentrated and not as balanced as some of the prior batches I've tasted of this big brew. There is still a spiciness beneath the hop flavor along with a tone of syrupy rich caramel malts with alcohol backing all of this that's going on. Mouthfeel: Medium to full body range doesn't sit heavy on the stomach but the flavor would probably become somewhat abrasive after multiple bottles of this brew. Slight syrup and touch of an oily quality about it from the hops 85 IBUs, definitely the bigger brother of the Burning River. Drinkability: Nice treat definitely an old ale in my eyes, when is Great Lakes going to start bottle conditioning their brews b/c this one was released in September and the bottle says it only supposed to be best by November 20, 2004 I'm sure it will last a bit longer with the alcohol and massive dose of hops it has.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very slightly fogged brown amber with a yellow/tannish head. It slowly falls and leaves a fairly large amount of lacing on the way down. Nose is malty caramel with a minor earthy edge and also a minor alcohol tone as well. Flavor is unusually dry. It almost seems like this is wood aged. Just loads upon loads of wood. Barely noticeable alcohol. Feel is fairly full bodied on the liquid and has a bit of a biting carbonation as well. For being so high in abv and also being "the beer with bite", this one goes down very smooth.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jeff. Thanks man.

The beer is copper hued with an off-white head. Ample lacing coats the walls of the glass. The aroma offers a sufficient malt bill, pine, hops. A healthy bitterness exists throughout with a mild, bready sweetness. A tasty beer and solid example of the style.

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Photo of jwc215
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for this!

Pours mahogany with a thin tan head. Dotted lacing, then lines of lacing, stick.

The smell is of caramelish/amber grainy maltiness mixes with a background of pine and citrus.

The taste is of toffee/caramel sweetness that turns to a bitter, woody dryness. It has a perceptive, though not too harsh, warming alcohol.

Full-bodied with a creamy texture.

It has a strong, yet "drinkable", pleasing, well-balanced character. Malty with a bitter touch in the finish that keeps the malt flavor in the aftertaste.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled 12/12/08 best by 12/03/08
Received in trade from Prototypic, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a beautifully clear red copper color with a smallish bubbly off white head that leaves mad lace on the way down. Smells of citrus, grapefruit, heavy hop aroma. Slight caramel in back if I strain my nose a bit. Taste is caramel malt up front, grapefruit and hops mid to finish and linger on for a bit. The taste isn't as bitter as the aroma leads you to believe. Creamy oily mouthfeel, thick body, moderate carbonation. Great stock ale. Lots of hops but some malt to back it up.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark, ruby amber with a huge cap of off white head that has good retention

S - caramel, bready, piney, herbal, spicy; very hoppy

T - toasted malt, roasted malt, caramel, piney, bitter

M - medium bodied, warming alcohol, well carbonated

The appearance, nose and mouthfeel are almost spot on. The flavor is complex but confusing. It's very malty but overly toasty and roasty. It's hopyy but the hops can't contend with the malts. I probably won't pick this up again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've gotten so bored with the Satan-themed beers, that it's a warm welcome to find a good, old-fashioned vampire-inspired ale! Here's to more in the future...Bela Lugosi's Red, anyone? But, on with the brew...
A hue as hot as Hades, full and fierce crimson, shadily hazy, with numerous floatillas, under a respectable raft of creamy beige-toned foam.
Yeast starts the nose, malt is next, and we feel like we're basking in new-baked cookies, at first, then...then a soft, citrus scent comes in, light spice, banana cream pie whispers in, zesty, alert, and lively...just-so delicious!
Jet-fueled entry on the palate, a blazingly friendly touchdown on the tongue, hoppy, and happy, bursting with an urgent appeal of flavor, bold, bright, and potent. Dark fruits are first in the taste, bread, biscuits, light citric zest, and a blast of spice on the side...this is all perceived in the flavor, but I don't mean to imply it is contained in the recipe. Yum, I keep on thinking, as the mouthfeel gets thicker, the finish near impenetrable, and my admiration grows. This is an upstanding nightcap here, a cool, mellow, but undeniably big ol' beast in the mouth...the kind of ale that clubs as it caresses...a cool thing to do. I'd be happy with a case of this, to tide the winter-time away!
Until that happens, so much thanks to cokes for the bottle!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a vintage Nosferatu at Lush - best before December 5th, 2007. Poured into my trusty Surly pint glass.

A - Transparent reddish-brown color with two-fingered head that dissipates slowly and leaves lots of lacing. Bubbles lazily rise to the top. It looks terrific, although it'd have to be blood-red for me to give it a perfect score. =)

S - Wow - there's still some citrus-y hop flavor here, largely ripe grapefuit and a little bit of pine, along with a strong malt backbone. There's also some caramel and woodiness (oak?). This is pretty surprising considering the age of the bottle - I thought we'd be on Old Ale/Barleywine country by now. The smell doesn't leap out of the glass, but it's still pretty strong.

T - Wow - again it's still pretty bitter to start - citrus hops and smokiness. Finishes fairly sweet with strong malt and caramel flavors, but leaves a bitter lemony American IPA kind of aftertaste. I remember this beer was really hoppy on-tap, and it's surprisingly retained a lot of that character. I'm really curious where this will go in future years.

M - There's a gritty character that complements the wood/smoke flavors, and the beer is surprisingly flat considering the visible carbonation and generous foam. Creamy and full-bodied, which I quite like. It's also a little warming and leaves a resinous feeling.

D - Feels exactly as strong as it is. This bottle is going down pretty fast, but I don't feel myself running to the fridge for another when I'm done.

Great Lakes always blows my mind - they get such remarkable richness, depth, and diversity, while still observing the Bavarian Purity Law. I'd recommend this brew - even significantly after the "best before" date.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally re-reviewing and getting hands on a recent one. Good and fresh.

Appearance is identical to previous review.

Nose though is considerably hoppier masking much of the toast aroma in the past. Hints of thick malt and barleywine sense alcohol, maybe some cherry. Definitely a "hot" sense.

Taste is much more hop pronounced. Piney and woody like hop finish, masking much of the malt body of an aged one. Perhaps some cherry fruit sense on this, but a beefy thick malt body but stinging hop vampire bite.

I still really enjoy this, but I think I like it more when it's been aged!

-- Old review originaly published 01-23-2011

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle past its prime. Dated December 8th 2010 for freshness we're about a month and a half late but there still was no issues. Paid 75 cents for this single bottle... best seventy five cents I've ever spent in my entire life I must say.

Appears a clear body with no easily visible carbonation on a dark red/brown. The head is a cream color with a size of two fingers. Excellent retention and uniform bubbles with a nice cap. Huge lacing and stickiness leaves a good collared sized puck throughout drinking that never goes away.

Bouquet is that great toasty Great Lakes aroma I associate with their Pale Ale. Also a big malty nose as well. Sugary powderness going with the toast makes me think literally of French Toast. Even some butter. Just flat out fantastic.

Taste is that great toasty crisp sweetness in the front finishing with a bitterish hop bite. Just like the beer says a vampire with bite. WOW color me highly impressed with this one making drinkability superlative.

4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4, 5

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What is the best way to get rid of the Monday's???? NOSFERATU!!!! Will certainly scare away your blues!!! This beer is a amber/red clear color with very thin white head. The smell has hop and malt characters which transcends into a wonderful tasting ale. I am really starting to like hopped up red ales and lagers! The hop and malt help to balance the higher ABV of this beer. I would be in serious...I mean SERIOUS trouble if I had alot of this in my fridge! This beer is definitely worth a sample....if not a SESSION!!!!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby red and clear with a thin off white head of tiny bubbles that breaks and leaves lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Aroma is malty and nice, overall its a little light.

Beer is very caramelly. Beer has a medium body and finishes cleanly. Overall its a little light on flavor. I guess strong ale I want it to be maltier or heavier. Drinkability is good but its too light.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to korguy123 for this bottle.
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Dark amber colour with half a finger of thick, white head with nice lacing.

S - Sweet malt nose up front. Dark caramel, toffee, biscuit and some light dark fruit. Some floral hops balance this one out a little bit but overall this is very malt forward.

T - Follows the nose. A nice sweetness with biscuit, toffee and dark caramel. A good hop bitterness rounds this one out and it is more prevalent than the nose indicated.

M - Medium body, slight chew, lightly carbonated.

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Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting, like a good strong ale should be. The main elements here are the chocolate biscuit malts and the grassy and citrus hops. The appearance is a dark red with off-white lacing. The aroma focuses on grassy hops with a hit of sharp grapefruit and peel. The hops are interesting and seem to have a celery note. I can't decide if I like how they work with the malt, but like I said, it's interesting. Definitely worth a try if you dig strong ales.

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Photo of WesWes
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a 1/4" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has an excellent mix of burnt toffee and hops. It has a stiff bitterness laid over roasted and caramel malts; yum. The taste is perfect! Wow, what a hop bite this one has. It's citrousy yet well balanced with a wonderfully complex malt bill. The alcohol is well hidden. This is a quaffable 8% beer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an exceptional beer. I need to pick up a case of this.

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Photo of Gavage
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a reddish copper color with a short wispy head.

Smell: biscuit and hop bitterness are strong with some softer fruity tones in the background.

Taste: caramel, biscuit, red apples, plums, strong citrus flavors, and a hearty bitterness makes up a well balanced ale. Alcohol is mildly noticeable here too.

Mouthfeel: medium- heavy in body. Light crispness to start with a smooth slightly dry finish.

Overall: a full flavored malty beer that has a nice strong bitterness. Slow sipping beer but fully satisfying. One could have this as a dessert beer.

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Photo of Duff27
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a beautiful clear red color. Wonderful and huge off-white head that lasts, my god. Lacing is out of this world. 30 SRM.

S- Sweet/molasses.

T- Up front malty sweetness turning to bitterness. Alcohol taste is present but not overdone. Complex with some molasses and dried-fruit. Delicious.

M- Medium body, low carbonation.

D/O- Drinkability suffers some due to the high ABV but who would want more than one of these bad boys anyways? This is a special beer and having more than one would devalue that. Cheers to GLBC for an all around winner. Aging a couple of these for a rainy day down the road.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to trep for this brew.

Pours a dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy head which does not last long, some sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, vanilla, cheeries, and caramel. The taste is a big malt bomb with a nice touch of hops, the vanilla gives it a nice sweetness and the cheeries give a nice tangyness, lots of caramel. There is a nice bite/bitterness to this brew. Medium body, a well rounded, complex brew. Very drinkable, another great tasty GL brew, very drinkable.

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Photo of aasher
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was told this wasn't available then my buddy from Cleveland shows up at my house today with a four pack. Perfect!

This beer pours a medium bodied dark amber in color with a one finger off white head. The aromas are pretty traditional for an imperial amber. You get a lot of malts, light cherry, more malt, maybe some oak. It's solid. The flavors too of a complex malt bill. It's just hard to pick apart it's sweetness, which is smooth and not over the top. It drinks medium in body and has a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. It's deceiving really. You don't get anywhere near 8.0%. Overall this is a solid beer and a nice imperial amber. It is what it is.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz received as a very thoughtful extra in a recent trade with aqsprint. Poured into my Smokestack goblet.

1" head.. took a while to die back.. good looking coating of lace surrounds the top of my beer... color is reddish copper brown... orangey highlites when held to a light.

Alot more hops than I remember .... not a bad thing... citrus and some caramel notes... but really.. mainly hops.

Flavor mirrors the nose... but with quite a bit more maltiness and some sweetness throughout... toasty and caramel.. great bitterness... and a bunch of piney citrus hops from front to back... the finish on this lasts forever.. the body is full and smooth.. the carbonation is fairly light adding to the overall mouthfeel... drinkability is high just because I want another sip.. but I have to control myself and appreciate the finish..

The beer as an experience reminds me of Arrogant Bastard but not nearly as brash.. I love it... and would buy 6'ers constantly if I had it available. Huge thanks Jon.... badass.


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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 2,559 ratings.
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